Scott’s Sunday Sentences, Issue 009

Sentences are my spiritual currency. 

Throughout my week, I’m constantly scouring and learning and reading and annotating from any number of newspapers, blogs, online publications, books, articles, songs, art pieces, podcasts, eavesdroppings, random conversations and other sources of inspiration.

Turns out, most of these sentences can be organized into about eleven different categories, aka, compartments of life that are meaningful to me. And since I enjoy being a signal tower of things that are interesting, I figured, why not share them on a regular basis?

In the spirit of “learning in public,” I’ve decided to publish a weekly digest of my top findings, along with their respective links or reference points. Sentence junkies of the world unite!

Creativity, Innovation & Art 

A work is not achieved by creating a hermetic space sealed off from the world, but nel mezzo, in the middle of everything,” from The Three Marriages.

Culture, Humanity & Society 

“You couldn’t get laundry detergent, but you could get your brain washed,” from The Museum of Communism.

Identity, Self & Soul 

“People like the idea of believing in something and like to think of themselves as the type of people who hold that belief,” from a book on reverse evangelism.

Lyrics, Poetry & Passages 

“You’re grabbing a bucket when you should be grabbing a bathing suit,” from Gangster Squad.

Meaning, Mystery & Being 

“Do you have an articulate philosophy of life that locates your being in the larger universe?” from Flourishing.

Media, Technology & Design 

“We love finding unexpected ways to help good information travel,” from Gaping Void.

Nature, Health Science 

“Scientists often invent words to fill the holes in their understanding, these words are meant as conveniences until real understanding can be found,” from God’s Debris.

People, Relationships & Love 

“We can’t find love by searching for it, it comes to us unbidden, when we give it to others,” from Daily Om.

Psychology, Thinking & Feeling

“When you share a goal publicly, your brain enjoys the sharing in the same way it enjoys the achievement itself, and you’ve lost some of your motivation,” from Donald Miller.

Success, Life & Career

“Nobody gives you shit. Anything you want in this life, you build it,” from Runner Runner.

Work, Business Organizations

“We’re left paying for a cold corpse that used to be a welcome experience,” from The Death of Customer Service.

See you next week!

A Poor Division of Relational Labor

A friend of mine just called it quits with her longtime boyfriend.

She said they broke up because of an interpersonal imbalance.
A poor division of relational labor, to use her term.

Turns out, after four years of being the girlfriend and the therapist and the babysitter and
the parent, she had nothing left. One individual, carrying the entirety of the
relationship load, making a career out of catering to someone else’s frailty.

Not a sustainable system.

I’ll never forget what she told me:

“I felt like I was
everything––except my own person.”

Ugh. No wonder she ended it.

When someone exists solely as an extension of another
person’s will, as a prop
in their personal play, a spare part to support their fragile self, they’re just
another object to be manipulated.

Why would they stick around?

The End of Innocence, The Beginning of Opportunity

Losing your virginity isn’t about sex and it isn’t about

The larger story is about a person of any age, inexperienced
and uninformed, who uncovers a stepping stone to a new level of awareness and
maturity about himself and the world in which he lives.

When I landed my first job as an adult, I lost my
professional virginity.

But looking back, that experience was less about the doing
the work and more about getting something out of my system and proving to myself
that I could do it and becoming confident with who I was and knowing that if I
did it once, I could do it again.

It’s a beautiful thing. A rite of passage. A healthy human

And while it may be the end of the innocence, it’s also the
beginning of opportunity.

A Recalibration of the Soul

Every once in a while, life takes me out of myself.

After a certain amount of time and speed and space and pressure,
I start to lose touch with my identity. I get stuck in a system of other
people’s expectations and agendas that puts me at odds with myself. And all of
the sudden I realize, oh crap, if I don’t
find a way to get back to normal, to exist in a manner that makes sense to me,
I’m going to freak out.

And it’s not just me, either.

I once read an
interview about Jerry Seinfeld’s writing process. He said that if he can’t
tinker, he grows anxious. That if he can’t create and arrange his ideas around
world’s messy confusions and trivial irritants, life isn’t fun for him.


Maybe this experience of existential distress touches us
all. Maybe these mini identity crises are more common than we realize. Maybe we
all have those boundary moments when our motivation for doing something is,
quite simply, just to feel normal again. Even if only for a short while.

And if that means going for a run at dawn when it’s dark and
there’s nobody in the world but you and the stars, so be it.

It’s a recalibration of the soul.

A portable, purposeful and private sanctuary to reconnect
with the self, the body, the spirit and the heart. A sacred space that holds a
sense of predictability and routine and control and brings some measure of
coherence back to your life. A highly human experience, free of the existential
torrents of life, free of the crazy demands of others, that gives us cognitive
richness and psychic nourishment.

Whatever it takes to carve a path back to yourself.

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